By FAYTHE REEVES, Staff Reporter |
Promoting Amarillo College enrollment and the Thrive scholarship are the goals of AC’s new director of outreach services. Cassie Montgomery took on this role at the college Jan. 7.
Montgomery said that the outreach services staff’s main focus is on drawing high school students into AC and showing them all the college has to offer.
She also said she aims to help adult learners and make sure that they are taking advantage of the opportunities available to them as well.
She added that while Amarillo is a large feeder of AC’s student population, it isn’t their only focus. “We’ve got students in all our rural communities who would benefit from knowing what we have to offer,” Montgomery said.
Amy Guerrero, a recruitment specialist, said that working with Montgomery has been great. She also said that they have been able to brainstorm new ideas for increasing enrollment.
“She understands where we are coming from, what our goals are and what we want to achieve,” Guerrero said.
Increasing the student population will help AC grow, but that is not the only goal, according to Bob Austin, vice president of enrollment management.
“Anytime that Cassie and her team can help a student make a positive choice to go on to higher education after high school, it not only benefits the student, but the community as well,” Austin said.
Thrive is a new scholarship allowing students to go to AC for free starting with the graduating class of 2018. Although the Thrive scholarship has not pulled in as many people as the outreach services staff was hoping, Montgomery is pushing forward to share the new opportunity.
This semester is the first time students have the chance to learn about the Thrive scholarship before graduating or choosing a college to attend.
“Money shouldn’t be a barrier,” Austin said. “We want every student of this community to take advantage of that scholarship and to enroll at AC and to be well educated and to create better outcomes for our entire community.”
Austin said that working as an adjunct speech instructor and a senior communications consultant before applying for the new position, has given Montgomery plenty of experience in her field.
However, she said that it is her passion for making sure that the right message is given to the right audience at the right time that drives her forward.
“When it comes to education, I just want to hold the door open,” Montgomery said.
Most of all, Montgomery said her goals for outreach services is to show students and adults in the Panhandle area that AC is a real, viable option.
“I want them to consider us as a game changer, and not just a second option,” Montgomery said.